Ellen Francis, Ph.D. has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology as an assistant professor.
Francis's research integrates biochemical and clinical information to refine metabolic profiles during pregnancy, with the goal of improving how we identify maternal-offspring pairs at risk for poor metabolic health later in life. Through the use of 'omics data generated from blood and placenta, she seeks to provide a more precise understanding of the developmental origins of health and disease. Using approaches from lifecourse epidemiology, systems biology, and computer science, she contributes to the identification of modifiable targets and mechanisms leading to premature cardiovascular morbidities.
“I look forward to this new role working with our faculty, staff, and students to support scholarship and research that impacts our future public health leaders and the wellbeing of pregnant individuals and their children,” says Francis. “I am fortunate to join a school with a collaborative relationship with the community, and hope that my work can help bring the advances in understanding of developmental origins of health to the obstetric and pediatric population.”
“I am thrilled that Dr. Francis has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health,” says Jason Roy, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. “She will be collaborating with an already strong group of researchers at Rutgers who are working on perinatal and environmental epidemiology. Her unique approach of leveraging and integrating different levels of data, leading to more precise results and recommendations, will be invaluable towards improving pregnancy outcomes and pediatric health.”
Francis received her Ph.D. from Clemson University's program in Applied Health Research and Evaluation, and a graduate certificate in Personalized and Genomic Medicine from the University of Colorado. She was a pre-doctoral fellow in the Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and completed post-doctoral training as a Perinatal Biology and Reproductive T32 fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. In 2022, she received a K99 Transition to Independence Fellowship from NICHD and a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute PRIDE Scholarship (Program to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research).